Hyperloop: traversing cities in the blink of an eye
India is about to revolutionize the way we travel! Hyperloop is the new buzzword that has all Indians excited and teeming with anticipation.
For the uninitiated, it all started in the summer of 2013 with Elon Reeve Musk (Founder – SpaceX, CEO – Tesla & Neuralink, and President – SolarCity & OpenAl) writing a whitepaper where he conceptualized a disruptive transportation technology. He envisioned a capsule-like structure installed inside a vacuum steel tube, covering long distances at supersonic speeds (estimated at nearly 1200 km / h) using a passive magnetic levitation system as the driving force. Musk explained that this mode of transportation would make daily commutes faster, safer, cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
Musk was magnanimous in inviting professionals to further develop his concept and bring it to its finest. Two US companies jumped on the train: HyperloopOne and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT). Both companies invited engineers from around the world to be part of the technology development and implementation process. Hyperloop One has successfully completed a full-scale test in the Nevada desert on May 12, 2017. However, both companies are only technology providers and will require full support in terms of construction, infrastructure development, and maintenance.
India, with its ever-growing population, rapidly urbanizing and being one of the fastest growing economies on the planet, could be the perfect launch pad for the Hyperloop mass transit system. These companies have shown great interest in the development and implementation of the technology in India, although their approach has been very different. HTT submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Transport in December 2016 and is already in talks with five Indian states to raise funds and connect major Indian cities with a high-speed network. HyperloopOne, on the other hand, invited proposals from around the world asking the engineers to draw up an action plan to make the Hyperloop project feasible in their respective countries. The company is committed to collaborating with the winners on the proposed route and the assured technology transfer. However, the responsibility for government approvals, land acquisition, capital expenditures, and technological development will rest with the participants. Among the semi-finalists are five teams from India, who presented their proposals at the “Vision of India” event, which was honored by prominent dignitaries representing the Government of India.
Despite the avalanche of actions, none of the proposals have been actively initiated by the authorities concerned. Whether the Hyperloop system will soon become a reality or will remain a distant dream is something that only time can tell. However, Hyperloop technology has redefined the way we envision our future mass transit system. The road network of tomorrow, be it Hyperloop or Bullet Trains, will undoubtedly be coveted technologies that will make commuting faster, safer and safer.
Disclaimer: All information covered in the previous article is available in the public domain.